HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
   
 
Newest Articles
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Colour of Pomegranates, The Poetry In MotionBuy this film here.
Year: 1969
Director: Sergei Parajanov
Stars: Sofiko Chiaureli, Melkon Alekyan, Vilen Galstyan, Gogo Gegechkori, Spartak Bagashvili, Medea Japaridze, Hovhannes Minasyan, Onik Minasyan
Genre: Weirdo, Historical, Biopic
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: This is a biography of the Eighteenth Century poet and monk who wrote under the name Sayat Nova, although the director Sergei Parajanov informs us at the beginning that he is striving to present the man’s life in the same way that his poetry would have been, starting with a series of images of pomegranates shedding their juices, a knife stained with blood and fish flapping on a cloth, simple but indicating the manner in which the film will progress. Then we launch into the poet’s early life where he was brought up among the religious orders and those who made their living as wool dyers, which Sayat Nova would assist with, for example helping to dry out precious books sodden with rainwater…

The Colour of Pomegranates regularly emerges in lists of the greatest films ever made, and if not the greatest cinematically then the greatest visually, its reputation as an exquisitely beautiful experience was cemented at the end of the Twentieth Century when it finally became widely available to watch. And why was there a gap between the film’s completion and its proper distribution? A small matter of the Soviet authorities taking one look at what Parajanov had concocted and throwing up their hands in horror – how did this fit in with their usual run of propaganda and prestige pictures that was the Soviet Union’s usual stock in trade as far as the motion picture industry went?

This didn’t even have a narrative that could be discerned without some extremely specialised knowledge, it was representational and symbolic rather than straightforward, and thus the conservatives’ suspicions were raised. It didn’t help that the director was getting into increasing trouble for his subversive ways, and that included his homosexuality, so The Colour of Pomegranates proved to be his final feature for the best part of fifteen years or more as he was imprisoned after being banned from doing what he loved, his vocation as a filmmaker. Well, you can see he was doing what he loved, but the fact remained the creation of this film delivered nothing but stress for him and his team.

There was near constant interference, the living conditions were poor to say the least, and there wasn’t even a guarantee the finished work would be released at all, not in the form Parajanov wanted at any rate, and so it was it was re-edited by the authorities while he was banished to some artistic wilderness. His treatment was nothing short of outrageous, but there was nothing he or anyone else could do to prevent it, and thus here was a film that languished in relative obscurity until it managed to be salvaged in a form more akin to what the director wanted it to be. Which was all very well, but if as with most of those who encounter it, you have little to no idea of what was supposed to be happening, was it really any good in the first place?

Of course, just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s worthless, and this assuredly was not, as while the finer details would have been left to scholars of Armenian history to pore over, you could simply be carried along by the striking shots of carefully composed tableaux, some of which featured actors moving around, others objects, but always something to captivate the eye, and besides it was barely over an hour long so you were unlikely to be bored unless you really had made up your mind this was not to be given the space to breathe that it needed. If it had a star, actress Sofiko Chiaureli was it, playing multiple roles from the poet himself to the love of his life in an indication of Parajanov’s sexuality that many view as essential in gay cinema. You could get an idea of what was a simple enough life to follow if only from the interstitial captions, basically childhood, love, religion and death were involved, as was the case with so many. Still, there will always be a problem with a film you had to read up about first to grasp its points. Music by Tigran Mansuryan.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1005 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: